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Last night my husband spent the evening with an elderly lady from our church. She is one of four widows we look after.


She was weeping because of the way her two children treat her. They live one and two houses away from her, yet hardly ever visit her. The daughter speaks to her maybe once a month. Her son calls her almost every day to see if her physical needs are met, but offers her no emotional support.


The poor woman is alone. No love from a husband, limited contact with friends and emotionally starved. We do what we can, but it isn't much.


I just wanted to encourage everyone to remember our elderly. Our culture sees little value in them. They are burdens, useless and obsolete.


With the economy the way it is, many have had to cut back on needs. Even losing cable t.v. service is a huge blow to someone who has no companions. They often can't even see well enough to read. Their days are lonely and isolated.


Please, it's not enough just to have food, clothes and shelter... They need love.


I would love ideas on ways I can show that I care. Of course, a hug and some of my time goes a long way.



I should go call my Mom now!


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Could you maybe find some sort of "work" for her that she'd be able to do? Feeling needed is very important. If you have her over for a meal get her to help with the preparing. Help you in the garden? Help you feed any livestock you might have? Even just the time it takes to feed chickens would certainly make her feel needed or have a purpose. Hook her up with the other widows for daily or semi daily phone talks?

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Talk to her about her life. Ask her what it was like when she was a girl. Ask her about laundry in the past, ask her about outhouses and if she used one. Ask how she raised her family and if she has any good recipes for cheap food. Ask her if she's ever lived without electricity.


If she can still write, bring her a notebook and ask if she'd mind jotting down any ideas she might have for living frugally/survival/etc. Then when you return be sure to go over them with her. Ask her to keep writing. If she can't write, bring her a very simple tape recorder and ask her to TELL you about the same things. My grandmother did this for us and those tapes are some of the most precious items we have now. If you don't want them maybe her family will some day. For that matter, get her started on her memoirs. If she believes her family doesn't care tell her YOU do.


Let her know that you REALLY want to know and give her the reasons. Tell her that some day we might all have to go back to that way and you really need to learn from those who did it, and mean it. Elderly people, even if they were city bound their whole life, never raised a plant or an animal still have a wealth of information that we can learn from.


I envy you the resource you have with the elderly. Don't let it go to waste. You will be doing them and you a favor.



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I am glad there are those of you who do things to care for the elderly. I believe God has a soft heart towards the widows and orphans.

Not long ago, my neighbor and I put on a small little teaparty birthday for the 89 year old across the street from us. We invited a couple other neighbor ladies. It was fun, and not a lot of work. I took a silver tray, lined with a white doily, put on some pretty matching teacups and saucers, teabags, spoons, etc. I also made a tray of homebaked goodies and too it, too. I added some silk roses on the teatray. We took cards and small gifts.

That was exactly what we did, too. We sat and asked her and the other elderly lady to tell us about their past. They shared how it was for their families during the depression. It was a lovely time !


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My husband's family had to put his dad in the nursing home this past winter.

I haven't been to see him

One thing is due to my weakend immune system; I have problems going to places like that


I think the main thing is to let older people know how much you care

Just being there and talking to them ; and really listening to them

My sweet grandmother died around 10 years ago.

I still miss her

She really enjoyed talking to people

and someone being with her

mom took care of her

So, just being there; and maybe taking a little treat to them; something you know that they like hugs pinkroses

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I read this and feel very frustrated. If this woman is alone, where is the pastor; why is there not a 'association' of people alone in a circle of telephone contact. Or a walk down the block neighborhood check. Is there 'meals on wheels'? Where is the church body in all of this.


What is the matter with this woman that she doesn't "do' something about her situation. Why is she not doing something to help herself.

Be very careful here. I am very suspicious of people that only cry, seeking/needing pity without using the resources they have. If she is an older woman, she has had to have been tough to live into her age

of life.

The reason I am urging caution, some people can suck the life out of you with the 'drama' of their lives. Any good hearted person would naturally offer help, fellowship, what they could do to help. Thank you and hubby for extending your kindness, to a single alone.

I would urge you to pray for the Father's direction in this matter. I will pray for this woman, and her children, that they may reunite, rebond and value their family unit, Skagit.

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I'm not just sure what to say, but, I'm wondering just how old she is.


I know when my mom was living, there were a group of ladies, all widows, in town who got together once a month, they had lunch, and sometimes they went someplace other than the homes. I remember one time when they wanted to visit a small chapel and flower garden which was a couple hours from town, and so I was able to help drive them. :)


If this lady could get a group of other widows together at least once a month and do things like that, it just might help.


But, yes, Skagitgal could be right too, about the fact she may need to have drama in her life.


Of course if her kids don't do for her or see her, one had to ask, why??


Pray for her and the family for sure.




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While watching my family and neighbors age, my heart strings are squeezed with compassion. Thoughts of what it will be like for me race through my mind. I don't have children to care for me when I'm old and needing help.


I am blessed that my MIL is quite independent still and has a support group of ladies that keep track of each other. On the other hand, my mother is one of those people who's physical capabilities do not let her get out and she does relish drama. When I talk to her, she seems happy & content, yet her health is not stable, keeping her from getting out and about to socialize.


Our neighbors, mostly aged widows, make their way around the block, visiting each other as their health allows. I've watched as their families gradually fade away and listened to the stories of 'way back when' and how they miss their partners & children. Only when their health deteriorates to the point of needing intensive assistance, does the family come and visit to put them in a home. When I've visited these lonely people at the nursing facilities, it amazed me that their families rarely visit. I've heard many stories as to why, the most common has been that they are too busy with their jobs, children and their own households, everyone is just too busy to bother. Compassion and a listening ear is something more valuable to them than anything else.




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Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions.

I really like the idea of asking her about her life growing up. She is 82 years old and must be full of wisdom.


Unfortunately, she is limited physically and in a lot of pain. She also is very hard of hearing.


I don't sense that she is a complainer looking for sympathy. I have been around enough people like that that my radar goes off when I encounter one. We have been visiting her over two years and this is the first time she shared these deep feelings.


She just wants to be loved by the children she bore and raised. She knows her time on this earth is drawing to a close and she longs for a close relationship with them.


We are going to try and give her a little more of our attention. I'm going to find some books and stuff to send her occasionally, and when my daughter's "special guy friend" comes up for a visit, they are going to visit her and he will play his guitar and sing for her. She will love that!


The pastors in our church take turns visiting the widows and shut-ins. Each deacon is also assigned several to focus on, as is the original purpose for having deacons. She greatly enjoys their visits and the books and taped services they bring. She just longs for her family to see value and worth in her.


As a mother, I can relate.


I know most people don't see much value in our elderly and wouldn't "waste" their time on them, but my husband and I have really enjoyed getting to know these people. I am so proud of my husband that he is willing to do this. I have been really impressed by his servant's heart.



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No Pogo, they don't go to our church.


My husband met her son once. He had brought some fill dirt over to level off a patch of ground for her that was sinking in. The son came over to check out what was going on because his mom had out the check book to re-imburse my husband for the cost of the dirt. I guess he wanted to make sure the inheritance money wasn't getting spent.


Oh, I'm so bad for making assumptions like that!


Her daughter is very active in her church as the secretary. For some reason she is very cold and distant from her mom.

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hard for old people to read books, unless they have the very large print. Easier for them to just watch TV.


are there others at the church that are older? perhaps others have older parents.. maybe the church would be open to having one day a week where they can get together and have a little potluck, maybe rent an old movie and have a movie day?


What is happening here is Adult care exactly like child care but for adults. Children of elders that have to work but want their parent(s) to have more then 4 walls!


the facility has all sorts of things for them to do, cards, checkers, bingo, TV with old movies from the 1930-50's, places for them to crochet or knit, gardens for them to walk in.


Perhaps the church could have a 1 day a week for them.


maybe they could volunteer to put together food boxes for those in need? which means a food drive or clothing or perhaps, open a church thrift store and food bank and let these people run it.

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Once a month our church has a lunch for all of the senior citizens. There is some entertainment and a sermon.


A special focus is made on getting a ride for those who have trouble getting around. People in the church volunteer to take a month and decorate and cook. I just did it on Thursday with a friend and we decorated with spring flowers.


They also take trips several times a year. Next month they will be going to the Billy Graham library and a botanical garden nearby.


Only one of the widows we focus on is able to go on the trips, but they all enjoy the lunch socials.


Unfortunately, it would be difficult to do anything once a week. It's difficult to get 12 people to volunteer to do the once a month things. Several even take two months. Many of these people work and have to use their days off to serve.


Not many people care to help others anymore. Maybe it's because we're too busy, or maybe it's because we're too selfish. I shudder to think what it will be like when I'm old and feeble. I have good kids and I'm sure they won't abandon me. When they were growing up I got them involved in the monthly lunch and also we visited the nursing home and helped out at our local rescue mission. I wanted them to see that there was a world beyond television and the computer.

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I think it is great that you are visiting her and being kind to her. I definately believe that is the right thing to do, and for family to care for their widows, elderly, etc.


However, I would probably be considered one of the "terrible" granddaughters by many of you. My Grandma lives down the street from me. I do not see her. Not because I do not want to, but because she starts huge family feuds, rumors and as most recent has told me that I am no longer her granddaughter. Yet, when strangers meet her, she is the sweetest lady you have ever met. Truly, she is! She does not have dementia or anything...she has been like this on and off her entire life. She tells others that we won't invite her over (untrue...we invited her all the time and she would not come and finally she told me she would never come here because my mom died in my home and it brings back too many memories). We have tried to visit her, and one Christmas 3 years ago, my husband fell asleep in the evening. She started rumors throughout the family that he had too much to drink on Christmas (he doesn't even drink and there was no alcohol anywhere we were at during the day), and to this day will not let us go on in life without bringing up that he fell asleep and shouldn't have done that. This is just one of many, many issues. I have asked her if we can work on these issues so that we can have a better relationship and she says no. When suggested that we just let go of past issues and have a fresh start she refuses. Yet, to all who meet her, they would think that she could do no wrong because she truly appears to be a sweet and loving grandmother, but when no one is around things are very very different. I guess the only reason that I am saying this is because there might be a reason that the two kids don't see her much, etc. At least the son is calling. It's great that the church can be there for her. I also agree with other posts though that in this society, we tend to not care for our elders as we should. I am all for caring for others, believe me, but before assuming that the kids just don't care, just give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe there is more to the story than you may know.



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It's possible that my widow has caused some of the tension between her and her children. She did mention once that she had apologised for some things she had done, but that nothing had changed.


I'm sorry about the behavior of your grandmother. Sounds like you have done everything you could have done.



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No Pogo, they don't go to our church.


My husband met her son once. He had brought some fill dirt over to level off a patch of ground for her that was sinking in. The son came over to check out what was going on because his mom had out the check book to re-imburse my husband for the cost of the dirt. I guess he wanted to make sure the inheritance money wasn't getting spent.


Oh, I'm so bad for making assumptions like that!


Her daughter is very active in her church as the secretary. For some reason she is very cold and distant from her mom.


Hmmm. Well, scrap that idea!


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